jamie goode's wine blog

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Eric Asimov of the New York Times has made an interesting post in his blog following up his piece last week on Uber critic Robert Parker.

RP is a bit of a focus for me at the moment, since I'm reading Elin McCoy's biography of the big man (linked in a post below). It's a good book, primarily because the subject matter is so absorbing. The big question is, of course, is the world of fine wine better now than it was pre-RP? And the supplementary question is, how much of this change, for better or worse, is down to his influence?

It would take a book to give a comprehensive answer. I suspect that looking back on the current era in some 20 years time, we will, to employ an overused quote from Dickens, feel that this was the best of times, it was the worst of times; it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness. Wine is better than it has ever been. But, at the same time, I think fine wine is imperiled.


At 10:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I picked up a copy of this book in the USA last summer. Gave up half way through, would be amazed if any one else can get further. Dull turgid and without any real insight on RP himself. Very much the worst of our times.....

At 11:21 AM, Blogger Jamie said...

I know where you are coming from. I was tempted to give up after the first chapter because the writing style was so bad. But I've kept on going, largely because I'm fascinated by RP, and even a little insight is better than none.

At 5:22 PM, Anonymous Keith Prothero said...

Jamie-----you are in my humble opinion the next RP.
At least I hope you are,because at least you are prepared to spend time tasting and considering all countries wines.
RP to my mind,is really only concerned with France,especially Bordeaux and California.

At 1:32 PM, Blogger Jamie said...

Keith, that's too kind - in RP's defence, the world of wine is now too big for one person to cover comprehensively - you have to decide whether to go deep but narrow, or shallow but broad in your coverage.

At 4:11 AM, Blogger Mike said...


I doubt that any biography of Parker would satisfy everyone, especially an autobiography. My own feeling is that McCoy's book should be read along side George Taber's Judgment of Paris : California vs. France and the Historic 1976 Paris Tasting That Revolutionized Wine. The latter is pre the Wine Advocate days and Parker is not mentioned. Thus both books give a reasonable perspective of wine in terms of California and Bordeaux - not complete by any means but a useful outline of recent history.


At 8:57 AM, Blogger Jamie said...

Thanks for the comments Mike - enjoy your blog


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